Cheerleading coach at Denver high school where disturbing practice video was taken has been fired

Videos obtained by KUSA-TV in Denver shows a young cheerleader being forced into splits. COURTESY KUSA-TV

DENVER (AP) — A Colorado school district official says educators should have gone to the police in June when they learned of videos showing a high school cheerleading coach pushing cheerleaders down in splits.

Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg said Friday administrators at East High School spoke with coach Ozell Williams and one of the girls in the videos after they learned of the incident. Boasberg says the administrators thought they had taken care of the issue then.

The videos were broadcast on KUSA-TV Thursday. Boasberg said he didn’t learn of the incident until this week.

The school district fired Williams on Friday. Four other district employees have been suspended, and police have opened a child abuse investigation.

The videos show eight cheerleaders repeatedly being pushed into splits while their arms are held up by teammates. In one video, a girl repeatedly asks her coach to “please stop.”

Williams could not be located for comment but told The Denver Post the videos were taken out of context.

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